Getting Your Home Ready for the House-sitter

Going away on your vacation should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. For some of us, however, we spend some of that time worrying about our homes, our pets, and all of the housework we have to catch up on when we get back.

One way to alleviate some of this anxiety is to employ a house-sitter while you’re away. In this article, we’re going to talk about getting your home ready for the sitter so that they can keep things running smoothly while you’re away.

Finding a house-sitter

There are three groups of people you should consult about finding a house-sitter for your home: friends, family, and neighbors. Many young people still living with their parents will be happy to get away for a week or two and have a house to themselves for a change.

An added benefit of asking an acquaintance or relative is that you can usually be assured that they’ll take good care of your home while you’re away.

In terms of payment, leaving them money for groceries and delivery is a good way to thank them for watching your house and pets while you were away.

Getting your house ready for the sitter

You might be at a loss of where to begin when it comes to leaving a note of things to do while you’re away. A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to keep a list in your phone and add to it throughout the day whenever you complete a task that you want the house-sitter to do.

You’ll also want to make sure you provide contact numbers for you and whoever else is away on vacation with you, and store the house-sitter’s number in your phones as well.

Next, make sure your home is emergency-ready. That includes checking the smoke detector and flashlight batteries. If you have a security system, it’s a good idea to let them know that someone will be watching your home while you’re away and provide their name in case your house-sitter accidentally sets off the alarm.

Finally, take care of anything you need to do before leaving, such as paying utility bills, putting fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom, and parking your unused vehicles in a safe place.

Tip: It might be a good idea to lock or hide any alcohol, tobacco, etc. that’s in the house, especially if your house-sitter is underage.

Now, let’s talk about some things to include on your list to leave for the house-sitter:

  • Recycling information (sort or no-sort)

  • Which day to take out the garbage cans and recycling

  • Information about pets: when/how much to feed, treats, walks, when they need to go outside, which vet to call in case of emergency, etc.

  • Location of keys for shed, house, etc.

  • Garage door opener

  • Reminder to take in the mail

  • Pool filter and cleaning procedure

  • Watering plants

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Taking Home Real Estate Photos

Today’s home buyers see hundreds if not thousands of real estate photos when they’re in the market. Odds are that they’ll eliminate a number of homes from their search before ever even setting foot in them.

As you can imagine, that makes your home listing’s photographs all the more important to securing solid leads on your house.

In spite of the importance of photographs, a number of sellers get them wrong. To ensure that your home listing’s photos make a great first impression, we’re going to take a look at some of the common mistakes to avoid in your listing photography.

1. Not taking enough photos

In the age of digital photography, you can never take too many pictures. Experiment with different lighting, setups, and angles, and don’t be afraid to take as many photos as necessary to get the shots you want.

2. Going overboard with the uploads

It might be tempting to upload all of the pictures you took of your home, but it could hurt your overall presentation. Sort carefully through your pictures and pick one or two photos that best showcase each room and another one to three photos of the home’s exterior and land.

Visitors to your listing will get bored and click away if you have a slideshow with hundreds of images. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for by limiting the number of total photos of your home.

3. Avoid close-ups

Your home should be spotlessly clean and tidy when taking photos. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get up close to each object in your home to take photos. Try to take wide shots that make your home feel spacious and welcoming.

4. Look out for mirrors and reflections and other distractions

If there’s one way to ruin an otherwise serene photo of your home, it’s when you spot the photographer accidentally showing up in the shot. Plan your angles so that you don’t get any flashes, glare, or reflections in your photographs.

And, while we’re on the topic of distractions, it’s a good idea to take your pets out of the room before your start shooting. Remember, potential home buyers don’t love your dog or cat like you do.

5. Don’t settle with your first shots

The different (or lack) of lighting your home receives throughout the day can make or break your photos. Try taking photos of your home at midday, when there are the least amount of shadows. Then, shoot some photos at golden hour (just before the sun sets) to capture warm tones. Finally, right after dusk, turn the lights on in your home and take some shots from outside. These photos give the illusion of a warm, cozy place where the light is always on.

How To Spruce Up For An Open House Quickly

When you’re selling your home, things can get really busy, really fast. You want your home to be in tip top shape to give it the best chance of selling in a timely manner. There are a few things you can do in a short time frame that allows you to spruce up your home without breaking a sweat. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you bring your home to another level of wow before the open house. 

Check Your Front Door

All you really need to do is put a fresh coat of paint on your front door to brighten the look of your entryway. There’s something about a freshly painted front door that really makes a home look like new. 

Spruce Up The Landscaping

You can really do a minimal amount in your yard and make your home curb-appeal ready. Just rake some leaves, add some mulch, mow the lawn, and voila. It might be an all day project, but in the end, it will be worth it. As long as people have a good view and feel that your yard has been taken care of, the outside of your home is in the clear for an open house.  

Check The Outdoor Lights

Even though an open house will be happening in the daylight hours, people may be curious that there is adequate lighting on the outside of your home. Buyers can either check this while they are at the open house or they could go a step further and drive by the property at night. Adequate lighting allows for a sense of security and safety all throughout the outside of the property.  

Care For The Mailbox

Few places in your home are as neglected as the mailbox is. Add some fresh paint to your mailbox. You can use the same color as your front door for consistency. At the very least, clean up the mailbox to give it a better appearance. Make sure your house number is present somewhere on the box as well. This helps the property to have a sense of being a bit more inviting. People will also be able to find your home easier. 

Make Use Of Flowers

You should place flowers around your home on the day of the open house. Add a fresh cut bouquet to the kitchen table. Bring some potted plants and florals around your entryway. These simple touches really can make an impression when potential buyers visit your home. 

Remove Your Personal Stuff

From the outside in, traces of your life in the home should be put away. This means pet items, toys, games, photos, and celebrity shrines. The more free space a buyer has to envision themselves living in the home, the better.          

With these small extra touches, your open house is bound to be a success!

Bathroom/Vanity Organization

Photo by JamesDeMers via Pixabay

Having a well-organized bathroom is a homeowner’s dream. To get your bathroom organized you just need a little time and effort, and the will to rid yourself of a few unnecessary items. 

Purge — Everyone has a tendency to over-purchase and overstock on bathroom products every once in a while. In order to really organize your bathroom items in a useable way you’ll need to pair-down to what you actually use. If you can’t make yourself give away the items you don’t really use, gather them in a storage container and put them in the back of the cabinet until you’re ready to purge them. Once you have all the items you use set aside you can further divide them to begin organizing. 

Organizers and Containers — When you know how much space and the type of items you need to store, you can determine what organizers to buy. Decide what items need to live on the counter or vanity and what items are best placed in drawers and cabinets.

With a couple simple steps, you can keep your products clean, organized, easy to use and put away again. Enjoy getting ready for work or to go out while saving on time and stress.